Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Backspace Was a 'Sci-Fi Skyrim' in The Works at Obsidian
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Here's something that sounded rather interesting, but regrettably never made it beyond the concept stages. It's a project known as 'Backspace', a 'sci-fi Skyrim' that was in development at Fallout: New Vegas developer Obsidian Entertainment from early 2011 before being shelved. Of course, Obsidian is currently at work on South Park: The Stick of Truth.

Backspace was apparently to utilise the Skyrim engine complete with its 'Radiant AI' system, and according to Obsidian head honcho Feargus Urquhart, it's something that's still on the shelf and hopefully something that studio may one day consider revisiting down the line.

"Backspace was a project concept that we neither cancelled nor greenlit," Urquhart said. "We had some great people work on the idea for Backspace for a bit of time and then moved them off to other projects as opportunities came up. We've been around for ten years now and have had a bunch of great ideas that we still have sitting around that we may be able to return to in the future."

Check out a piece of concept art from the game, courtesy of Kotaku, where you'll also find an excerpt from Backspace's design document. It seems like a concept that's tailor-made for next-gen. Make it happen, Obsidian!


User Comments

Forum Posts: 56
Comment #1 by Louchavelli
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 10:49:42 AM
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Skyrim in space? nice, i would love to see this fulfilled.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #2 by ATOMICKILA3000
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 10:49:58 AM
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Sci-fi Skyrim?!? Count me in!

Forum Posts: 444
Comment #3 by a hippyslayer
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 10:51:11 AM
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More open world exploration games are always welcome, especially in a different SciFi direction, but alas not every developer can make games at Bethesda's level...

Forum Posts: 129
Comment #4 by Earth Djinn
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 10:52:58 AM
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This would've been a much better use of Obsidians talents compared to a fucking South Park game.

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #5 by iBlaise
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 10:53:52 AM
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Hopefully they canned this to work on Fallout 4.

Forum Posts: 117
Comment #6 by Soulreaper 1337
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 10:54:53 AM
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So many ideas from Obsidian I wish one or two of them would see the light of day.

Forum Posts: 20
Comment #7 by Masterchief950
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 10:59:49 AM
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Sounds awesome, too bad it's not being made.

Forum Posts: 23
Comment #8 by SydLosttarot
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 10:59:59 AM
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If tbis is a ninja campaign to ensure this game will, in fact, see the light of day---well done. Otherwise, the heart hurts so. Please let this come to pass!

Forum Posts: 23
Comment #9 by SydLosttarot
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 11:02:16 AM
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*this, not tbis

Beth treated them wrong. Go CDPR and etch out a monopoly on scifi semiopen/open world RPGs, Obsidian :)

Forum Posts: 52
Comment #10 by Zoron
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 11:02:43 AM
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@5 Bethesda is working on Fallout 4. Obsidian may make another spin off though.

Forum Posts: 1196
Comment #11 by gazmaster1
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 11:06:03 AM
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Why tease us with this. Now I have a dream that will never be realized.

Forum Posts: 392
Comment #12 by smokevf
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 11:06:14 AM
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With all these open world/ MMO/ RPG title's coming out im really going to be no life in it lol. Never thought so many MMOs would come out like they are going to on the xbox one. Cant wait to play elder scrolls online. Thats going to be so much fun being able to play with my friends omg wow cant wait! And destiny, and the division, so many really good looking mmos coming out. I love MMO games. I know its not for everyone but I for one love them. For 60$ a mmo is a steal you get your moneys worth for sure.

Forum Posts: 1685
Comment #13 by EMP
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 11:12:33 AM
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@10 I don't think Bethesda announced they are yet. Hopefully they are.

Forum Posts: 6935
Comment #14 by Nevander
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 11:13:34 AM
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I love how #4 gets all those undeserved thumbs down when he's right. I would much rather have this game instead of a fucking South Park game. Stupid show.

Forum Posts: 52
Comment #15 by Zoron
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 11:26:48 AM
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@13 Fallout 4 has not been announced yeah but they did confirm they weren't stopping at 3 and I'm pretty sure Obsidian wont release another one before them.

Forum Posts: 2200
Comment #16 by cheevo360
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 11:27:10 AM
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Skyrim is one of best games in 2011. Will be interest to see what Sci-Fi Skyrim. Gameplay and open world and story possible much like to Skyrim and set in Space. That look good. Cannot wait for first ever gameplay trailer in future. :)

Forum Posts: 1339
Comment #17 by Creasy47
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 11:29:12 AM
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Sounds amazing, and definitely looks like something they could revisit come next-gen.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #18 by ATOMICKILA3000
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 11:32:17 AM
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@14 If he got thumbed down then clearly he deserves it. By the thumbs down that both #4 and you have I can only guess that you guys are in the minority when you say that south park is a stupid show.

Forum Posts: 451
Comment #19 by deluxnugs
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 11:42:16 AM
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southpark is a terrible show!!!! but i could be wrong as ive only ever watched around 100 episodes.

i like chicken nuggets.

Forum Posts: 14
Comment #20 by Viperous
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 11:44:54 AM
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fallout is terrible...

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #21 by bigp 6
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 11:54:15 AM
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@20 LOL that's a good one

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #22 by Jam96
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 11:56:59 AM
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This sounds like my kind of game. Scifi and Skyrim. Two of my favourite things. Obsidian, make it happen!

Forum Posts: 813
Comment #23 by XxStuartxX 1990
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 12:02:56 PM
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I don't want Obsidian anywhere near Fallout 5

Forum Posts: 11716
Comment #24 by BiggD
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 12:18:14 PM
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As long as Obsidian makes another Fallout spin-off down the line, I'll be happy. But this idea seems pretty solid too!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #25 by beh1230
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 12:48:14 PM
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Obsidian is an ok developer, they make descent spin-offs of previous games. But the one game that they completely developed, that I have played, wasn't very good. Maybe they should just stick with spin-offs where the code is mostly done for them and all they have to do is revamp it for their use.

Forum Posts: 311
Comment #26 by AgentOrange330
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 01:44:58 PM
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I'll take the thumbs down but I completely agree with #4...

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #27 by eeeen
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 01:46:20 PM
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Obsidian would not be making FO4, they will be making another FO game at some point, like NV, but Bethesda will handle FO4 on their own.

Last I read, Obsidian only has one more FO game to make with Bethesda. They are busy with SP now, and once they are free of that, the next game sure won't be Fallout4. Maybe a FO game, but not FO4.

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #28 by SouthParkGuy
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 01:56:26 PM
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@4 The South Park fanbase is larger than anything Obsidian made.

Forum Posts: 262
Comment #29 by Baki54
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 02:00:52 PM
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Backspace.... control, alt, delete :(

Forum Posts: 75
Comment #30 by TheTenthPlague
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 02:19:35 PM
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As someones who has played several amazing Bethesda games and several shitty Obsidian games, I'm glad this didn't work out. Everything they touch turns to shit, I've bought 3 of their games and have never been able to finish any of them due to glitches and bugs. I'm upset that they were the ones chosen to make South Park. I hope they go out of business. Worst. Developer. Ever.

Forum Posts: 3223
Comment #31 by DecadentBeaver
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 03:38:53 PM
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Sounds like an interesting concept. As much as I like South Park, I would rather have had Backspace coming my way. Sounded like the sort of game I'd go for. Something original! Unlike all the sequels that burden the shelves in shops these days.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #32 by Wayne Warren
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 04:43:16 PM
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Too many Space games, not enough Star Wars games.. See the problem ?

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #33 by Cirative
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 05:45:15 PM
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Sci-fi Skyrim = Fallout 3
Far Cry 3* = Fallout 3

*The promotional poster for Far Cry 3 said it was "Like Skyrim with guns!"

Forum Posts: 469
Comment #34 by francisrossi
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 05:58:27 PM
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Obsidian may want to steer clear of Bethesda engines.

Forum Posts: 37
Comment #35 by stevec1636
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 07:12:36 PM
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@32 no I don't see the problem

Forum Posts: 3574
Comment #36 by Shiftie
Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 09:39:12 PM
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Would this have been called "Spacerim"?

Forum Posts: 920
Comment #37 by MabusScarab
Friday, July 12, 2013 @ 04:38:55 AM
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I hate opening articles like this and seeing what could have been, becoming very interested after reading about it just to realize by the end of it this game likely won't exist. I love Obsidian/Bethesda games, and sci-fi has always been the direction I felt like they should take next once their existing franchises have been worn out. Knowing what they are capable of I could rattle off a bunch of ideas and know they would execute them brilliantly, and I kind of wish other developers would take note and create deep and lengthy masterpieces instead of 8 hour one-and-done titles.

Off note, everytime I read through comments for articles on this site I see poor BurstGamer Jedi getting negged regardless of what he posts. It's pretty obvious there's a bit of a language barrier with him and english likely isn't his first language, but he's not being hurtful or abusive so take it easy on the guy. I don't get the hate.

Forum Posts: 309
Comment #38 by Snowed
Friday, July 12, 2013 @ 05:07:46 AM
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@37 I agree in general though this time he clearly didn't even read the article. Or understand the meaning of the word "was" in the title. This time the neg was deserved.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #39 by Chumley
Friday, July 12, 2013 @ 06:19:25 AM
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there needs to be a sci-fi/fantasy open-world game...i don't care if it's similar to star wars or mass effect or anything else:

mysterious magic/powers + swords + the odd laser gun

maybe it's a crude/chaotic world where 'science' is the upstart rebel, or where secret alien influence is causing paranoia, panic and war. just build a convincing and fantastic alien world (forget realism).

Forum Posts: 1181
Comment #40 by CyberPunch83
Friday, July 12, 2013 @ 06:27:13 AM
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Seeing as it was a sci-fi RPG, I wonder how many ideas in the proposed game made their way into the 'Old World Blues' DLC for New Vegas.

Forum Posts: 95
Comment #41 by dAFKave813
Friday, July 12, 2013 @ 07:26:48 AM
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This sounds like a really good idea here, I hope they really do work on it at some point.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #42 by XxLEGITSPINNRxX
Sunday, July 14, 2013 @ 10:03:48 AM
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Hm this would look rather enjoyable! Hope it would have more achievements than skyrim.

Forum Posts: 41
Comment #43 by MasterGazelle
Monday, July 15, 2013 @ 07:20:30 AM
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On the one hand Skyrim sci-fi sounds like a Star Wars RPG. Different classes, specialisations, species = Magic users, Combatants, Stealth users, + Mages, knights, soldiers, mercenaries, thieves, + various foreigners etc. Becomes Jedi/Sith, freedom fighters, enforcers, spies, storm troopers, aliens etc. would probably make the best Star Wars game ever.

On the other hand if you take the magic users and call them biotics, then you can draw the same comparison to Mass Effect. In fact for many RPG fans it would be the direction they would have preferred Mass Effect to go in instead of the changes in ME2 & ME3

I would be happy to play either of those if based off the Skyrim engine and Elder scrolls/Fallout 3/New Vegas game model.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #44 by xMrMojoRisin
Saturday, July 20, 2013 @ 01:46:50 AM
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would LOVE this

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US November 11, 2011

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